Beck's Crash Course: Civil Rights and the Rights of Man

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," September 10, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


GLENN BECK, HOST: They're mocking the civil rights movement.

Everything — everything now is the civil rights movement.

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH, D-OHIO: I believe health care is a civil right.

REP. PATRICK KENNEDY, D-R.I.: The parallels between the struggle for civil rights and the fight to make quality affordable health care accessible to all Americans are significant.

REP. JAMES CLYBURN, D-S.C.: This is a civil rights act of the 21st century.

SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF.: This is a civil rights act.

BECK: We are going to restore the history — the true history of the heroes of the civil rights because it's being distorted and used right now.



JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO, GUEST HOST: Hello America. Welcome to "The Glenn Beck Program." I'm Judge Andrew Napolitano, in for Glenn on this final day of our special week, a "Crash Course in Beck."

Monday, we brought you how America is being transformed economically.

Tuesday, how radical surrounding the president are helping him transform this country.

Wednesday, you learned about the history that is being erased from our children's textbooks.

Yesterday, we went over the White House and the progressive agenda to control the message and to control our free speech.

And that brings us to today, the fifth and final installment, a special hour on civil rights and the rights of man. Tonight, we flew in a special guest to join us for this. You may know her. She's become a close friend of Glenn and of this program, Dr. Alveda King.

Alveda, it's so nice that you're here with us.


You know, My grandfather, Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr., always said, make it plain. And I just want to thank you for bringing clarity to all of the subjects. It's just great to join you.

NAPOLITANO: Well, it's a pleasure to work with you, Alveda.

Alveda is, of course, the pastor of associated priests for life and the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Her father, A.D. King, was Martin Luther King's brother and a crucial contributor to the civil rights movement in his own right.

If you were at the "Restoring Honor" rally on 8.28 in our nation's capital or saw some of the coverage you might have seen her standing alongside Glenn to help us take our country back. We'll show you some of the footage of Dr. King from that spectacular day a little later.

Also, later, we're going to have Dr. King read a nonviolence pledge written by her uncle that can certainly still be used to combat much of the conflict we're facing today.

But first, let's get going with this final crash course. As you know, one of Glenn's key goals this past year has been to restore history, and that includes restoring the true history of the civil rights movement.


BECK: Scratching the surface of the civil rights movement. What is it? What was it? What is it really all about? Versus what progressives and radicals now want you to think it was all about.

Individual rights. Individual rights. You have a right to be free. You have a — a right to live your life. You have a right to not be harassed.

You have a right to your — your life and your liberty and your pursuit of happiness. That's what this country has always been about, but it is always been flawed. And we've never quite achieved it.

Before we start going backwards, let's — let's take a look at it again, what we're striving for. Let me show you how the movement in the 1960s has been perverted and distorted.

We've got folks like the Reverend Al Sharpton telling people that Martin Luther King's dream was really about redistribution of wealth. Here he is:

REV. AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Someone was saying to me the other day, "Reverend Sharpton, we have first African-American president. We achieved the dream of Dr. King." And I told him that was not Dr. King's dream.

He's a great man. I've been working with the president and supported the president. But the dream was not to put one black man in the White House. The dream was to make everything equal in everybody's house.

BECK: I don't remember that. Really?

We also have the NAACP now telling everyone that King was socialist. He said — the NAACP came out, I don't know, this is about six months ago, saying that we wouldn't be celebrating Martin Luther King Day if we really knew who he was.

Well, wait a minute. Hang on just a second. Help clear this up.

Listen closely to what the chairman of the NAACP recently said.


JULIAN BOND, NAACP CHAIRMAN: We don't remember the King who was the critic of capitalism, who said to Charles Fager when they were in jail together in Selma in 1965 that he thought a modified form of socialism would be the best system for the United States. We don't remember the Martin Luther King who talked ceaselessly about taking care of the masses and not just dealing with the people at the top of the ladder.

So, we anesthetized him. We've made him into a different kind of person than he actually was in life. And maybe that that's one reason he's so celebrated today because we celebrate a different kind of man that really existed.

But he was a bit more radical — not terribly, terribly radical but a bit more radical than we make him out to be today.


BECK: Hey, is that true? Was he a socialist? Was he a communist who was the guy?

Now, we have King starting to be painted as a radical. You know what? King was a radical — and just as Jesus was a radical.

Now, we have SEIU, Andy Stern. Andy Stern doesn't think that Martin Luther King, the civil rights legend, really was the one that really helped create real change. In 2004, he told "The Washington Post," quote, "Pressure is needed to bring about real change. It was not enough to have Martin Luther King, Jr. You needed Stokely Carmichael."

OK, so he's saying now that Martin Luther King couldn't have accomplished what he did without people like Stokely Carmichael who was the honorary prime minister of the Black Panther Party.

So, we have the Black Panthers being really responsible for real change. They got it done — according to Andy Stern — because of civil unrest. Carmichael was known for coining the term "black power." So, Stern thinks you need civil unrest to meet demands.

I don't know when man decided that they could pit each other against each other to rule. It's wrong when any class, it is wrong when any color does it.

Martin Luther King tried to get people to unite. Isn't that what we should be striving for? What do we unite on? We don't unite on color of skin because it's meaningless. We unite on character.

It is our responsibility to protect the rights granted by God, that's quite frankly the founders fought for. Did they screw it up? Did they have it right? No. Has any man ever had it right? It's the— it's the same rights that Abraham Lincoln and blacks and whites fought for in the civil war. Those are the same rights that King fought for.


NAPOLITANO: Dr. King, you appeared on that show following the monologue we just saw. We just heard Glenn talk about the twisted interpretation of the civil rights movement by some people. Was it your uncle's dream to redistribute wealth in this country?

KING: Well, actually my uncle's dream — and I knew it so very clearly because I heard so many of his sermons and grew up in the same family where he was, but redistribution of wealth is almost — it goes over to greed and selfishness with those who can have the most and, you know, having the resources to do it. But my uncle's dream and vision for all Americans was, you know, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — everyone having a comfortable place to live, enough food to eat, the ability to care for their children, so that redistribution of wealth is just another whole different concept and even all the battles that he fought on behalf of all people.

NAPOLITANO: Was the civil rights movement of the 60s really just about race or do you agree with Glenn, that it was about the human race?

KING: I so truly agree with Glenn, and my uncle talked about the American Dream and everybody getting along as brothers and sisters. In order to be brothers and sisters, you can't be a part of separate races, there's no black race, white race, yellow race and red race, but the human race and everyone learning to get together. My uncle said that we have to learn to live together as brothers and sisters or we'll perish as fools.

NAPOLITANO: People need to remember that.

OK. Now, let's go to another subject that I know you've spoken about with Glenn on this program, the difference between collective rights and individual rights.

Collective rights and collective salvation is something President Obama talks about all the time. Let's watch a few clips, one of which you are in and then I want to get your reaction.


BECK: We talk about individual rights.


BECK: God gives us individual rights. It's no collective salvation. It's no collective —

BARTON: That's right.

BECK: When people say it's human rights, that's not the same.

BARTON: That's right.

BECK: Explain the difference.

BARTON: It's inalienable rights — the belief of the founders and those who came to America, they left Europe. Europe was into collective rights, collective issues, collective everything.

They came to America. These guys said no, it is individuals. It's you and God. That's why we established a freedom of conscience, not for the group.

That's why one dissenting individual — a Quaker can say, hey, I'm opposed to war. We'll say, OK, we'll let you — we'll let you off. I'm opposed to taking an oath. OK, you can — you can just do an affirmation.

Throughout American history, we allowed dissenters, individuals, because of conscience. That's one-on-one.

We did the same thing with freedom of religion. You have the right to practice your religion not only as a group, but as an individual.

All the way through, it was individuals and what's so cool is it was preachers who did that, those guys who came — I mean, the first Constitution we ever have written in the history of the country, 1638, the Reverend Thomas Hooker who said, "Oh, wait a minute, God gave us the written word so that every one of us can go to his word and know exactly what he wants. We're going to do a written Constitution so every one of you can go to the government and know what the contract is."

Three years later, the Reverend Nathaniel Ward did the first written Bill of Rights. He said, wait a minute, we need a limitation so the government can't get into your individual rights.

BECK: There is a huge difference between collective salvation and individual salvation. Individual salvation you can be free and we can disagree with each other. Collective salvation, well, then, the policies of the government — well, they start to become very, very bad because if you stand against policies of the government and you are the oppressed that is in charge of the government, well, you can excuse all kinds of things.

Barack Obama's view of salvation — here's where it comes from. Watch:

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: And recognizing that my faith remained tied up with their fates. That my individual salvation is not going to come about without a collective salvation for the country.

It's because you have an obligation to yourself. Because our individual salvation depends on collective salvation.

BECK: The president has said over and over again in speeches, at graduation speeches, on the campaign trail, that all of our salvation is tied together — which leads you right to reparations and everything else. Our salvation is tied together. There is a collective salvation that depends— that our individual salvation is dependent on the collective salvation.

Boy, I know I haven't read that in the Bible. I know that is — I mean, that's not at all, anything like what Jesus teaches. A, can you explain that? B, that leads to really awful things, does it not?

KING: It does. Deception and that, say, a generous person invites us all, thousands of us to a big banquet they prepared. You're invited to the banquet, come, collectively, everybody come.

Now, we all go. But if we don't sit down individually at our seats and eat our meal, you're not going to be able to eat my meal for me. He won't. I must partake of it myself or else I won't be able to — you know, I went to the banquet, but I came away empty. I came away hungry.

And I'll die because I'll starve, because I did not take what had been individually prepared for me. That one meal is mine. And so, that's the way of our salvation. It only comes to —

BECK: And you have to sit at the table —


KING: You must sit at the table, you must partake.

BECK: Isn't that? Doesn't plead you? Doesn't that — just that concept, understand that concept — doesn't that show you that God is a God of merit?

KING: Yes.

BECK: I mean, he will prepare a banquet for each of us. He's prepared a mansion for each of us. He's given us the opportunity. We all — we may not be sitting, you know, next to all the special people or whatever, but we're still at the table. But it requires us to pick up the fork.

KING: We have to pick up the fork.

STEPHEN BRODEN, FAIR PARK BIBLE FELLOWSHIP SENIOR PASTOR: Well, you got to understand biblically, the Bible says that all of us will have to stand before God and give that count individually. And he will measure our work as wood, hay or stubble. You will not be able to stand in my stead for me, I have to understand in my stead before him and give an account of my life. That's not collectivism, that's individualism.

KING: That's right.

BRODEN: And that's what, I think, is lost in our conversation. But what we're seeing during is this — is that we're seeing an unholy mixture, strange fire, being added to the theology of the Scripture and it's a Marxist idea that's being blended in here. And we must be very careful about that because Marxism, socialism, communism have one thing in common. They're all an anti-God system. They do not believe in God. They are attempting to create a utopia here on earth that is generated and fostered by mankind.

And the Bible says, put no trust in man. And they're attempting to achieve it through an egalitarian redistribution of wealth where everybody is equal, where they take from the haves and give to the have-nots. That's anti-Bible.


NAPOLITANO: God created each of us in his own image and likeness and our rights are gifts from God. So, do we have rights as individuals or rights because we belong to a group?

KING: Well, as we belong to groups, the whole group can receive value of those rights. But each of us must accept that gift or those rights individually. One good example, for instance, we're in class together and we have to read a book.


KING: And if I read the book for you, I'm going to comprehend the book and I'm going to get the "A" on the test. But you have to read the book as well and you have to comprehend it. So, we can't — the whole glass collectively can be sitting there together, but individually, we're going to have to apply. And that's the same thing. I mean, there's a responsibility.

NAPOLITANO: But we — we are endowed by our creator, as Jefferson wrote, with inalienable rights and they come to us as a gift from him through our humanity. We don't enjoy those rights because we belong to a group. We enjoy those rights because we're human beings.

KING: And we have individual responsibility —


KING: — in application and accepting of those rights.


Now, I want to move on to something that didn't get much coverage in the media during Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings in June. Justice Kagan actually admitted she does not have a view as to what natural rights are, as written about by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence.

In the Declaration, our Founders wrote that our rights come from our humanity, which is a gift from God. It refers to the laws of nature and nature's God when it says that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights.

Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn asked Justice Kagan if she believes in God-given rights. Take a listen to how she responded.


ELENA KAGAN, THEN-SUPREME COURT JUSTICE NOMINEE: Senator Coburn, to be honest with you, I don't have a view of what are natural rights, independent of the Constitution, and my job as a justice will be to enforce and defend the Constitution and other laws of the United States.

SEN. TOM COBURN, R-OKLA.: So, you wouldn't embrace what the Declaration of Independence says that we have certain God-given inalienable rights that aren't given in the Constitution, that are ours and ours alone, and the government doesn't give them to us?

KAGAN: Senator Coburn, I believe that the Constitution is an extraordinary document and I'm not saying I do not believe that there are rights pre-existing, that the Constitution and the laws. But my job as a justice is to enforce the Constitution and the laws.

COBURN: Well, I understand that. Well, I'm not talking about as a justice, I'm talking about Elena Kagan. What do you believe? Are there inalienable rights for us? Do you believe that?

KAGAN: Senator Coburn, I think that the question of what I believe as to what people's rights are outside the Constitution and the laws, that you should not want me to act in any way on the basis of such a belief. If I had one or —

COBURN: I would want you always to act on the basis of what our Declaration of Independence says.


NAPOLITANO: This is a woman who now has a lifetime appointment on the United States Supreme Court and she doesn't necessarily support the Declaration of Independence.

Our government exists to protect God-given rights, but the people that run the government today don't believe that. They believe that our rights come from the government.

Alveda, what do you think about this? Do our rights come from God who created us or do our rights come from the government?

KING: Our rights, of course, come from God and then government should line up. What's so startling to me, I believe — you know, she had to go to law school, she had to study. She probably took constitutional law.

And I guess law school 101 would have dealt with natural law and she has no feel for these concepts. That's amazing to me that she's sitting this that high seat of office and has no concept.

NAPOLITANO: It's the greatest document in American history — one of the greatest documents in the history of the world, the Declaration of Independence.

KING: Yes.

NAPOLITANO: She just apparently thinks it's Jefferson's musings, rather than the law of the land and the document that got this great experiment in freedom started.

KING: And this is no true and it was thought about and pondered over and wrestled with, the Founders — and for those who think it was just a group of men in a smoky room. No, they were working and, you know, their wives had tremendous influence in their lives. So, women were involved in the process as well.

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